Sunday, May 12, 2013

How a show about death made me think about life

I am not going to eulogize how good Six feet Under is. Most episodes are gloomy and inject you with misanthropic tendencies. Most characters convince you to see a shrink, because frankly you can't tell if they are real or Alan Ball's cerebrally charged lifetime achievements that have had a whole lot of influence on you.

I just finished watching the episode which begins with Nate's family mourning over his death. I hate to admit, that it got me welled up. Obviously, the show is all about coping with the death of your dear ones because death, in Nate Fischer's words, is an inevitable part of life and life has its own ways of teaching us how to deal with it-by parting us with our loved ones, but that's not the end of it. The show portrays death as uncomfortable reality that ranges from being profoundly reflective to profoundly repulsive.

I was left frightened by the thought of how death is constantly hovering on us like a swarm of unfed bees. You can't tell  when and where you will be stung, but death is almost all the time after you. In your bathtub, on the street, in your car, in the beauty salon. Your encounter with death might be a blink away. In such a scenario, can you really afford to be gripped by the fear of death and allow it to hold you from taking a hot shower, driving your car, fixing a session in the salon. Why be afraid of something that would eventually be nothing more than a bittersweet nostalgia for the people you've left behind. 

There is an episode in which a lady chokes over her breakfast and dies in complete isolation of her home. Her body is detected by her neighbours, weeks after it rots and stinks. The fischer family, who arrange a funeral for her are unable to comprehend how a person can fade off without having anyone to pay a tribute to her. Ruth Fischer is never seen more unsettled over a funeral. she goes all kooky in arranging a funeral for a total stranger the way she would for her own son or daughter. There are more such profound instances which make you realize the tacit nature of grief that unites strangers and .brings you closer to your covert humanity 

I always believed it's impossible to keep up the raciness of the plot when you're devoted to finer details in your direction and cinematography. The show proved me wrong. The opening sequence is both surreal and meditative in its description of death much like everything else in it.

1 comment:

  1. Things written 'In fine prints ' are rather mischievous. Its written more to conceal the true nature of mind and how it works.

    The photograph needs Sanding Ovation.